Thursday, November 21, 2013

Archbishop urges Catholics to take 'modern life' survey

Catholics in England and Wales are being urged to complete a worldwide survey into how they think the Church deals with issues such as contraception and gay marriage.
Pope Francis launched the unprecedented questionnaire earlier this month.
The responses will help form new Vatican guidance for an estimated 1.2bn followers to be published in 2015.
The Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, said it would help Catholics face the "ambitions of modern living".
The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales was the first in the world to put the survey online, and is encouraging all Catholics to respond by a 30 November deadline.
The results are likely to confirm differences between the Church's guidance and the behaviour of its adherents.

'Moral teaching'
"The Pope has led us to pay attention to the experiences of people," Archbishop Nichols told BBC Breakfast.
"On the one hand we must work to follow Christ, but on the other hand we have to face all of the ambitions of modern living."
The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales also said that Catholics should be prepared to "listen" to arguments about same-sex marriage - even if it made them "uncomfortable".
"Listening never did us any harm," he said. "God gave us one mouth and two ears. The fact that we may hear things that make us uncomfortable - that's fine."
And Archbishop Nichols revealed that in launching the survey, the Pope hoped for a "fairly long period of reflection" to explore how the Catholic Church could remain "true and faithful" to its followers and to its core beliefs.
Pope Francis, who was elected in March, has struck a different tone to his predecessor on a range of issues.
He said recently the Church was too focused on preaching about abortion, gay people and contraception.
And he made headlines when he said it was not up to him to pass judgement on the sexual orientation of clergy.
The 39-question survey seeks views on issues such as what "pastoral attention" can be given to those in same sex relationships.
It asks whether Christians today are aware of "how morally to evaluate different methods of family planning" and whether "this moral teaching is accepted".
The survey is intended to give Catholic bishops around the world information ahead of a special meeting to discuss the Church's policy on the family next autumn.
Although there is no suggestion the Pope intends to change formal doctrine or belief, the survey is being seen by some observers as a further sign of his intention to reform the church.

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